Vernon Vikings look back on 2013-14 season


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A team, or an individual for that matter, competing in high school sports doesn’t have to win state or conference championships in order to have positive memories from a season.

The life lessons, such as not giving up in the face of adversity, learning from one’s mistakes and realizing that through hard work and dedication, goals may be achieved can be gained by those who compete earnestly in athletics during their high school years.

The Vernon High School boy’s basketball program may not have had a winning record, although they won six hard-fought games, but the Vikings competed with pride and integrity.

Vikings head coach Matt Ferguson mentioned several student-athletes who contributed significantly to the team this winter.

“This year’s seniors were Phillip Thompson who scored 8.0 points, and had 3.6 rebounds per game," Ferguson said. “Kahlil Stewart, who scored 7.7 points and dished out 2.4 assists per game. Nick Kinsella averaged 6.9 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. Kevin Moran scored 5.2 points and had 1.2 steals per game.

“Junior Luke Venskus was our leading scorer with 11.1 points per game, he also dished out 4.2 assists and grabbed 5.5 rebounds per game. Junior Logan Costello scored 6.6 points and grabbed 5.7 rebounds per game. Junior Tom Ryder scored 7.2 points and dished out 2.1 assists per game. Both Venskus and Thompson were named Honorable Mention in the American Division of the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference. Juniors Jordan Vallellanes and Tyler Klos, sophomores Seamus Hughes and Tim Ploch and freshmen Brian Moran and Jacob Rodriguez also provided solid contributions."

Ferguson remembers some of his team’s most impressive wins from the 2013-14 season.

“The most impressive victories were against Morris Knolls (51-48 on Jan. 28), Morris Hills (59-51 on Feb. 21), and Alexander Hamilton of New York (62-56 on Dec. 28),’’ Ferguson said. “We also advanced in the Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex Tournament by defeating Belvidere (61-57 on Feb. 4)."

Ferguson is well aware of all of the people who helped the Viking program on and off the court this season.

“We would like to thank our seniors, and coaching staff which includes Jim Labar and Joe Byrne," Ferguson said. “[Also would like to thank] our statisticians — Liz Barrett, Olivia Higgins, Stevie Vallellanes and Madison Kleeschulte and our manager Tommy Martino."

The graduating class of 2014 will definitely be missed, but Ferguson has optimism for the 2014-2015 season.

“With a solid group of young players returning and a really busy summer schedule ahead the Vikings look to continue to improve," Ferguson said.


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